Where to stay, dine and play in St. Pete Beach
Located directly on the Gulf of Mexico, St. Pete Beach is a beach bum’s paradise. Year round balmy temperatures usually hover in the 80’s, so pack your swimsuit and flip-flops! And this beachfront town is very laid back, so that’s really all you need.
The best way to get around town is either by bicycle, the Suncoast Beach Trolley ($2 per person, per ride and goes from St. Pete Beach up to Clearwater) or the Free Beach Ride (just make sure you tip the driver!).
Where to Stay
Splurge: Loews Don CeSar Hotel – Pink Palace
Situated on sugary white sand that stretches for miles, the Loews Don CeSar Hotel was built in the Great Gatsby era of the 1920s. Today the Mediterranean-style castle by the sea, a.k.a the Pink Palace, is a luxurious landmark on St. Pete Beach. Listed among the Historic Hotels of North America and the National Register of Historic Places, the resort features 277 rooms, including 40 spacious suites. It’s one of my absolutely favorite hotels in Florida. Read more about the resort in this article I wrote for USA Today’s 10Best: Loews Don CeSar Hotel, Historic Luxury on St. Pete Beach. 3400 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706, 727.360.1881, loewshotels.com.
Save: Inn on the Beach
Located directly across the Pass-A-Grille section of St. Pete Beach, the Inn on the Beach is a cozy inn with only 12 rooms and three cottages. Most rooms have kitchenettes, so you can cook your own meals and save your dollars to spend on the funky art boutiques in the neighborhood. 1401 Gulf Way S.t Pete Beach, FL 33706, 727.360.8844, innonbeach.com.
Where to Drink
Best Beach Bars in St. Pete Beach
There are so many amazing beach bars to choose from! Seriously, St. Pete Beach is like the Mecca of beach bars. Try all of these in one day and do a beach bar hop (take the Free Beach Ride) or pick one to try each day of your vacation. No matter what you do, make sure you get there in time for sunset!
My favorite waterfront bars are:
The Hurricane: the best rooftop bar EVER. 360 degree Gulf views. And a weekday, six-hour happy hour. Yup, you read that right. Happy hour goes from 12 to 6 p.m. Mon-Fri on the rooftop. 809 Gulf Way, St Pete Beach, FL 33706, 727.360.9558, thehurricane.com.
Jimmy B’s Beachbar: Awarded Best Beach Bar three out of the last four years by FloridaBeachBar.com, Jimmy B’s has multiple outdoor bars and stages, plus an impressive line-up of live bands. My favorite part about this bar is the music! And celebrate the stunning sunsets each night with a free sunset shooter. 6200 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, FL 33706, 800.544.4222, jimmybs.com.
Undertow Beach Bar: Situated directly on the sand and featuring a great beach volleyball court, the Undertow is a favorite hotspot for the younger, bikini-clad crowd (if you’re a dude, that means lots of hot chicks here). Drink prices are usually pretty good, but parking can be scarce. 3850 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, FL 33706, 727.368.9000, undertowbeachbar.com.
Woody’s Waterfront: If you love hole-in-the-wall style bars with a Key West vibe, then you’ll really like Woody’s! Happy hour is usually 2 to 6 p.m. Mon-Fri. 7308 Sunset Way, St Pete Beach, FL 33706, 727.360.9165, woodyswaterfront.com.
Best Local Breweries in St. Pete Beach
Lot’s of local craft breweries are popping up around St. Pete Beach and throughout the rest of the area.
Check out Visit St. Pete/Clearwater’s Craft Beer Trail:
Where to Dine
For delicious Florida stone crab legs, fresh seafood and live music, go to Billy’s Stone Crab. 1 Collany Rd, Tierra Verde, FL 33715, 727.866.2115, billysstonecrab.com.
For a cheap but delicious Old Florida style breakfast in a diner setting, go to Seahorse Restaurant in Pass-A-Grille. 800 Pass a Grille Way, Pass-A-Grille Beach, FL 33706, 727.360.1734, no website, check Facebook.
For a romantic, upscale dining experience, go to Maritana Grille at the Loews Don CeSar Hotel. 3400 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706, 727.360.1881, loewshotels.com.
For the best grouper sandwich on the beach, go to Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill in Clearwater. 7 Rockaway St., Clearwater Beach, FL, 727.446.4844, frenchysonline.com.
For the true foodies who want to explore off of the beach for the best eats in the area, you’ll want to head over to Downtown St. Petersburg and try any of the following:
Where to Play
Best Place to Hang Out on the Beach: Fort de Soto Park is drop-dead gorgeous and dog friendly! And Pass-A-Grille Beach, which is the southernmost part of the island of St. Pete Beach, is simply stunning.
Best Place to Shop Local: Eighth Avenue is across from the beach on Pass-A-Grille and has a cute collection of shops and galleries.
Best Place to Hop on a Boat: At Merry Pier, book a trip on the Shell Key Shuttle for a eco-tour of unspoiled Shell Key Preserve.
Best Place to Party Late Night: St. Pete Beach is more of a happy hour style beach town. If you’re looking for crazed out nightlife, this island isn’t the place for you. :) But Canopy Rooftop Lounge in Downtown St. Pete is really fun and so is The Mandarin Hide.
More Photos on St. Pete Beach